Midsummer Vegetable Burger

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

TIME: 45 minutes

This light, colorful burger, which gets its crunch from corn, is terrific on a bun, especially with a little Salsa Roja, Chile Mayonnaise, or Roasted Pepper Mayonnaise or with sliced ripe tomatoes and drizzled with Traditional Pesto.

Serve it with substantial side dishes like Ratatouille Salad, Warm Chickpea Salad with Arugula, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small red onion, halved

2 cloves garlic

1 minced fresh chile (like jalapeo or Thai), or to taste, or hot red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)

2 cups corn kernels, fresh if possible

3/4 cup cornmeal

A little all-purpose flour, if needed, for binding

Put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep non-stick or cast-iron skillet with a lid over medium heat. Put the onion, garlic, and chile in a food processor and pulse a few times to grind almost smooth. Add the mixture to the pan with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook and stir.

Stir the zucchini into the onion mixture along with 1/2 cup of the corn and another sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put the remaining corn into a food processor and let the machine run until it becomes a thick paste. Continue to cook and stir the zucchini mixture until the vegetables release all their water and it starts to evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the corn paste and the cornmeal. Remove from the heat, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. If the mixture seems too wet, stir in a little flour to help bind it. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Form 4 to 6 patties and let sit for a few minutes if you have time. (You can make the burger mixture or even shape the burgers up to several hours in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.) Wipe out the pan, put in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the patties. Cook until nicely browned on one side, about 5 minutes; turn carefully and cook on the other side until firm and browned.

Serve on plates with any of the accompaniments listed in Serving Burgers or on buns with the usual burger fixings. Or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Variation

Fresh Summer Vegetable Burger with Cheese. A little richer and creamier: In Step 2, when you stir in the corn paste and cornmeal, add 1/2 cup grated cheddar, mozzarella, Jack, or Parmesan cheese.